My name is Kate, I’m 21, and I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis in January of this year.
It started with mild symptoms, but graduated to full on debilitation. I took a form of Accutane called Sotret for my acne back in 2007-08, and with the recent commercial of the link between Accutane and Colitis, I’m pretty sure that might be the cause of my UC. But, since there is no real evidence, my doctors say it’s not conclusive. I’m currently on Lialda and I just got off of Prednisone, but my symptoms are coming back, so I called my doctor and left a message; hopefully they will get back to me today.
It started with bloody diarrhea and abdominal pains and progressed to bed ridden sadness and vomiting. I went to my doctor for the bloody diarrhea and she told me I had a simple case of digestive irregularity and suggested I take Align and eat more yogurt. When this didn’t help, I went back and she said I needed to give it more time to work. The day before Christmas I was in so much pain I crouched on the floor of my job begging my boss to let me go home. He allowed me to and I spent the next week avoiding having to stand for 8 hours a day. I went to a GI specialist, but he felt the same as my general practitioner and I didn’t believe either one. December 30th, I had my mother drive me to the hospital. I was admitted and they treated me for C. Dif, or Clostridium Difficile. I was on a medication called Flagyl for a good month at this point and they kept feeding it to me. I was in the bathroom every hour practically spewing from both ends. I was miserable on both holidays and I was losing faith in the medical profession. I was in the hospital for 2 days and I begged them to release me because I would rather be in misery in the comfort of my own home rather than a smelly hospital with an old man screaming in the middle of the night for water. They said if I could eat lunch and keep it down, I could be released. So, to be honest, I faked it. I held it down for 2 hours and they released me. The next day, I was vomiting again and my mother asked if I wanted to go back, but I said I was feeling better, it was just going to take time to get used to the new drugs they had put me on. A week later I was back to a debilitating state, so I asked my mother to take me back to the hospital instead of starting school that day. I guess the second time in the hospital in 2 weeks makes them sit up and pay attention because they actually took some x-rays and did something instead of playing the guessing game. My doc tor this time around visited me more frequently and really paid attention to what I was saying. I had a colonoscopy and an EGD the next day and it revealed ulcers all in my colon and rectum. He diagnosed me with UC and I thought, finally an answer! Now I can live my life worry free, right? Oh, I have to take medication for the rest of my life? Just so I don’t have an episode as awful as this one again? What the hell kind of life is that? My depression has never been as low as it was between hospital visits, but it still hasn’t quite gone down to a normal amount either. I still worry incessantly about my future and how I’m going to provide for myself and this disease. Does it ever get any easier to deal with?
Prednisone make you gain a few pounds. I went down to 133 pounds while I was at my sickest. I’m 5’11”, so this isn’t a healthy weight. While on prednisone, I gained all my weight back, plus about 20 pounds. I have pretty chubby cheeks to begin with, so the puffiness the prednisone gives my cheeks makes me look extra jolly.